Stocks consolidate after large gains

Stocks are little-changed this morning, following more than a week of solid gains.

S&P 500 futures is down 0.05 percent, while the Nasdaq is slightly positive. Europe is down about 0.5 percent, and Asia was little-changed overnight.

The S&P 500 has been rallying since it found support at its 100-day moving average earlier this month, and the benchmark index has risen in six of the last eight sessions. It's now back within half a percentage point of its all-time high from late August.

Following a pattern that's been common since the current bull run began last year, the gains have resulted from investors returning to former laggards--in this case industrials, utilities, and consumer discretionaries. All three sectors had underperformed the broader market in the preceding six months but have led in the last three weeks.

Our researchLAB market scanner also shows homebuilders and related companies benefiting from improved housing data. Transportation groups including airlines and railroad suppliers have also returned to favor. Energy and metals have pulled back.

The next important events are addresses by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Other items before the speeches include minutes from the last Fed meeting at 2 p.m. today, preliminary manufacturing data on China and Europe overnight, and initial jobless claims tomorrow morning. Tech heavyweight Hewlett-Packard is also slated to report earnings this afternoon.

Home-improvement chain Lowe's already issued results this morning and is down more than 3 percent after cutting its sales guidance. Chinese streaming-video company Youku Tudou fell 8 percent after profit and revenue lagged forecasts. Staples rose 2 percent after beating estimates. Other companies on the lineup this morning include Target, PetSmart, and American Eagle Outfitters.

Commodities and foreign-exchange trading paints a bullish picture. West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose more than 1 percent, attempting to bounce from a two-month slide. Copper also rose about 0.6 percent. The safe-haven Japanese yen also declined, which reflects risk appetite.

The euro is lower against most other currencies once again as weak growth on the Continent fuels speculation that interest rates will remain low or decline further.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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